You might have seen the pint-sized Shauna on TLC. She is one of the bright young stars of the television channel. But how much do we know about her? The television show I Am Shauna Rae revolves around the exploits of the Long Island local who looks like an 8-year-old, despite being in her adult years.
Rae weighs 50 pounds, standing at 3 foot 10 inches due to the treatment she received for her childhood brain cancer.
Yet, what she lacks in height, she makes up in personality. Let’s get to know the television star.
Shauna Rae Biography
Shauna is a television personality and social media star from the United States of America. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1999, she has received quite a lot of attention in the 2020s. That is when her TV show began airing on TLC.
Shauna holds American citizenship and follows the Christian faith. She is of mixed ethnicity.
Nowadays, we recognize her as an accomplished actress, television personality, and social media star. As a child, she dreamed of becoming an actress.
But she was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 6 months. By treating her disease, doctors trapped her in the body of a child.
Suffering from brain cancer, Shauna had to undergo chemotherapy to get rid of the deadly clump of cells. But the treatment, while successful, caused her growth hormone deficiency. While the doctors cured her cancer, the treatment caused other problems.
Her body has been cancer-free for years, but her height remained the same at 3 feet 10 inches. Despite everything, she maintains a constant smile on her face.
Her parents are Scott Lesnick and Patricia Schrankel. They separated a decade ago. Her mother would later get married to Mark Schenkel. Shauna lives in Pennsylvania with her mother, stepfather, and her siblings, Tara Lesick, Rylee Schrankel, and Morgan Schrankel.
What makes her so special?
What makes Shauna Rae so special is her constant smile and happiness. She just spreads joy and happiness everywhere she goes.
In one interview with The Post, she noted she’s constantly underestimated and excluded because of her appearance. Yet, that hasn’t stopped her from going after what she wants.
She said, “If you look at me, you see an 8-year-old. But I think if you take the time to look at the details in my face, in my hands, the maturity in my body — and I think if you take the time to actually talk to me — you really understand that I’m a 23-year-old”.
Why does she look so young?
As we said before, Rae was diagnosed with brain cancer as a young baby. Her look is due to a rare medical condition stemming from chemotherapy treatment.
The treatment, while successful in curing cancer, impacted her pituitary gland, leading to a stunt in her growth and causing pituitary dwarfism.
Shauna began taking growth hormones at the age of 8, yet, the on/off treatment stopped when she reached puberty.
She said, “I reached the finish line, you could say”.
What is her medical condition?
The medical term for her condition is pituitary dwarfism. The TLC show explains she has a rare condition that makes her look younger than her actual age.
While she is in her 20s, she looks like an 8-year-old child. In the trailer of the show, she said, “If you were to look at me, you would think I’m just a normal little girl, doing normal little girl things with my fun, crazy family. But the truth is I’m not a little girl. I’m a woman, a 22-year-old woman stuck in the body of an eight-year-old”.
Does she face any daily challenges?
Because of her height and look, she has been refused alcohol, tattoos, and even gym membership. In one scene of the trailer for the TV show, a bartender refuses to serve her drink, saying, “We don’t allow kids”.
The condition has also affected her dating life, and for her, it is hard to find the right person. Opening up about her dating life, Shauna said, “I attract creeps, a**holes, and idiots. It is scary to put myself out there, but you have to put some risk in to get happiness”.
In season 2 of the show, she goes on a blind date, and it turns out, it is a man with the same condition.
After meeting Thomas, a volunteer firefighter, she said to People, “Meeting the young man with pituitary dwarfism was an amazing experience. We had a lot in common because of our medical histories. And then our actual social lives are much different. I think that is very inspiring for each of us and anyone else when they watch it because we came kind of from a similar background, but not at the same time. And we live two different lives due to two different ways of people reacting to our disability”.
Is she in a relationship?
While she has had ups and downs in her dating life, Shauna did manage to have a good relationship with travel blogger Dan Swygart. Their relationship raised eyebrows among viewers.
They went on dates during the second season of the TLC television series. Some people called him “creepy” for lusting after a lady looking like a young girl.
But Rae was not affected. She said, “I’ve just developed the ability to spot someone who may not have the best intentions because they give themselves away. Their questions are very targeted toward my physicality … They’re learning about me like I’m a specimen in a lab”.
Sometimes, partners have talked down to her, but that is not the case with Dan. She explained, “I view myself as intelligent, and I think when people first see me, they don’t see me as intelligent. They still don’t understand that I have that intelligence there”.
She continued, “I tend to find guys that are just one-dimensional and don’t actually have any depth to the conversation. [A deeper connection] is what I’m looking for. I feel like: ‘If I can teach you something, you can teach me something’ — that’s what I look for in relationships”.
Swygart, for his part, said, “It’s very important to remember that Shauna is an incredible 23-year-old woman who has a disability. So as you are building a connection with her, it’s important to acknowledge her disability and look past that and build it with who she is as an individual”.
He then continued, saying, “As soon as you say that she can’t have a real-world connection with someone else, you dehumanize her. She is a human being. She deserves to have relationships and connections with whoever she wants”.
Moving on from Dan
Dan Swygart and Shauna Rae had a connection, but that is all done. In an episode of The Sarah Fraser Show podcast, he revealed they were never partners. He said they never took the relationship to the next level.
He said, “We got very, very close on an emotional level. I mean, it never really got physical, we kissed once. Of course, I wasn’t there for long periods of time. So it never really progressed into a relationship”.
He said, “We went to a bar together with some of my friends, some of her friends, and her sister, and there was a restaurant. We were eating in the restaurant, then we went to the dance floor, there was a bouncer at the dance floor. He lets us all in but he stops Shauna and she’s showing him her ID, and he’s like, ‘No, this can’t be true, no, no, no, wait, no way,’ and then the crazy thing was, in the corner, a TV was playing and it was her show.”
Recalling the experience, Dan said, “People were taking their phones out, taking videos of her, so I had to go up to them and tell them to leave. People came up to me and they were like, ‘Um, is it not past her bedtime?’ This is just one evening and it’s just constant”.
By the time season 2 wrapped up, the two were not dating anymore.
What does she do for a living?
Shauna hopes to conquer the world of showbiz. She is a former coffee shop worker, who now is a television star.
She still lives at home with her mother and stepfather but wants to be more independent. And she is also trying to raise awareness for pituitary dwarfism.
In one post, she said, “This is something that happens to me very often, and use to be an every time I went out occurrence. I’m hoping that by raising awareness for my type of dwarfism and disability, it will help the world and us as humans be more open minded when it comes to the variety of people we have in our world”.
That post came after she shared a story about being treated like a toddler while dining out.
Is she on social media?
Yes, Shauna uses her social media presence to raise awareness about her medical condition. But she also shares daily updates about her life. Shauna has more than 317k followers on her Instagram account.
As of June 2023, Shauna is still living with her parents. But as the success of her show continues, we can expect the young girl to move out. As of June 2023, she has a net worth of more than $100,000.
Expect that to go up, as she is becoming one of the bright new stars on TLC.